Artificial Intelligence vs Architecture, Will AI Replace Architects?
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is the general term for machines and systems possessing human-like intelligence. The earlier days of artificial intelligence fasten the replication of the standardized tasks, they are programmed for. Afterward, with betterment in technology artificial intelligence improved itself based on data insights it got from performing the iterative function they are programmed for. It won’t be wrong to say that AI is quite better than Humans in 99% of the task they do. If artificial intelligence is deployed instead of human labor on a particular task, results can be cost-saving, time-saving, and paramount. Therefore, the increasing trend of big conglomerates delaying hiring and deploying artificial intelligence is prominent nowadays.
The Primary Threat from AI is to the “Economy & Jobs”
The only true segregation on the globe is between “Rich & Poor” and AI could be a digital divide that will continue to widen the gap between developed nations and developing nations and it will be really difficult for developing nations to catch up. A matter of serious concern arrives is around the corner with the growing prominence of AI. A daunting number of billion people are expected to lose their jobs due to AI. Not only manual laboring but AI is even beating humans in their own game. Critical thinking and language which were once subjects of human exploration are now new domains for AI applications. That’s why there is also a sense of alarm over the future of professionals too, one such is an architect. Till now architects believe design will be untouched by AI. Would this be the same in the future? This makes us arrive at the topic question of the article.
Will AI Replace Architecture Jobs?
Many of the industry leaders in the architecture and construction sector believe AI is unlikely to ever replace the foothold of architects in the architecture and construction sector. The main citation being AI lacks the soft skills inevitable for executing an architecture project. Plus, AI is yet to establish more of a contributor role with other workers in the design and construction industry, after that it would only come to mainstream design and construction practices. E.g., Labors involved in the construction project would not be that much familiar with the machinic instructional interface and use of AI tools. The absence of direct questioning and answering will not be suitable at all for today’s construction practices. Although these pointers are quite accurate in reasoning, the reason for AI not penetrating the architecture profession is solely not based on the above-stated reason. The whole architecture and construction sector refrains from using technological solutions.
To combat these unprecedented times architects must have the following skill set to sustain their business value in the construction market. Top 10 Skill Set Every Architect Must have
Is Architecture AI-Proof or Does It Lack Tech Infrastructure?
It is not the ability of the architecture profession that makes it AI-proof but the inability of the former profession not to adapt to the fast technological changes. Monopolistic attitudes by big construction conglomerates, government regulations, and the unorganized supply chain are the central reasons why only 20% of the design industry uses specialist tech. Government policy-making has an important role to play in this. It is the government that safeguards the architecture profession by regulating the importance of the architect’s stamp on construction drawings for building permits. Similarly, a major portion of construction work is already dead with the arrival of construction and manufacturing robotics. Rest, 3D printing, and modularity is killing the leftover work of manual laboring in construction projects. But it is up to the government, how much they can safeguard construction jobs with their regulations. The projected future of the world is estimated to be tech-driven and decentralized. What if non-architectural, mostly software development firms will start foraying into the architecture market with their high-tech offerings? It will surely be a direct challenge to the real utilities of the architecture profession.
Architects play a vital role in the construction industry as they design and build structures. Learn more about them and their importance in building construction
Automated Floor Development vs Architects
One thing that differentiates Information Technology from Architecture is the scalability factor. Information Technology since its inception has grown exponentially and now almost every human is somehow having an IT product in their hand. Contradictorily, here in the architecture profession, we up to this time are explaining “who an architect is” and “what an architect does”. There are already existing floor plan builders and ready-made stock options for people seeking architectural services but they are often labeled as not suitable for customizing solutions on each project. The catch here is, despite being not so helpful in their use case these apps are now available on every mobile device which is not the case with architectural services. Even automated floor plan development tools available online are in their nascent stage but AI tends to improve itself very swiftly. An AI tool with more datasets from high-level constraints is an upcoming possibility in the future. It will save time that architects would use for toiling hard for multiple permutations and combinations of spaces and what’s better than a tool that saves you a cost of an employee?
AI Image Generator vs Architects
Architecture development starts with conceptualization. This put an architect on the pedestal to master the art of visualization and communicate intuitive ideas. Creative intelligence to create enticing art forms is the most powerful humane asset that sets humankind above all the intelligence currently existing on the planet. However, research suggests creativity has been in decline. A possible reason would be high internet engagement. Whatever we seek, we search on the internet. The 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every day by human activities on the internet is making AI capable of generating a perennial library of ideas on almost any subject. Sensibly, AI cannot be called creative but AI is becoming a tool for humans to augment their creativity. This is problematic at professional and business levels both. We as architects are getting more and more dependent on these tools for our services and our potential customers have direct access to these tools as well.
There is a plethora of AI tools which are –
- Creating detailed images from textual descriptions.
Mid journey AI
It is an Artificial Intelligence program that generates detailed images from users’ text descriptions.
Dalle is similar to Mid journey AI but it produces much better images. To get access for using Dalle you have to make a submission proposal in the long queue of requests.
It develops architectural and interior mock-ups in no time.
Interior AI is a virtual staging tool for your interiors. You can upload one face of your room and it will provide you with improved design mockups for that.
The sophistication of AI increases over time, and the same goes for these above tools. The more user traction these tools will gain, the more data insights they will have and consequently, the more sophistication they will have in their service offerings output.
How Architects can Make their Profession AI-Proof?
- Architects should embrace Artificial Intelligence
Change is an inevitable process of nature. Technology is here and it is here to stay. The growing population of humankind generates an aggregated set of problems that require solutions embedded with technology tools. One of those is Artificial Intelligence. Architects should embrace Artificial Intelligence and incorporate it into their daily practices –
- Architects should learn Parametric Architecture
Designing based on computing algorithms. By this method, architects give parameters and rules to generate greater complex geometries that are more adaptive and optimized by the context of the problem addressed. Develop a deep understanding of parametric architecture and start learning trending parametric practices and software tools.
- Architects should start approaching Software Programming
By learning software programming architects can expedite their value in their field. Learning to code can give architects a better grip on the depth of the functioning of design software, they frequently use. As architects are creatively bounded by the software they use, an architect having software programming skills can develop and integrate plugins for the software they use. Additionally, to implement a data-driven approach in your architecture project, what’s better than coding your design perspective into a dataset format and using it in your software 3D architecture model?
- Architects should use Artificial Intelligence to establish alternative paths for Architectural offerings
Technology-oriented designers are using data algorithms to induce never seen experiences and offerings.
Refik Anadol is a Turkish-American high-tech designer, a pioneer in the creation of abstract dream-like environments with the help of machine learning algorithms.
Neri Oxman, the head of Mediated Matter research group at MIT. She is primarily known for fabricating design outputs using computation and material biology.
Mark Foster Gage is an American architectural theorist. He is kind of trying to reinvent architectural aestheticism by which he and his team develop building facades by recapitulating a large dataset of online images relevant to the context of the building.
Does Architecture have a Future?
Architecture as an Art Form
Architecture is the combination of both art and technology which makes it a commercial art form. Considering the art aspect of architecture, architecture as an art form is a perennial profession if you have a brand value to deliver. This is exactly the case with star architects. They are pre-decided for an architecture project not because their firm is suitable for the particular requirements but because they do bring a certain amount of value to the building through their architectural style. Building a sustainable future for yourself in the architecture profession requires manufacturing consent of your brand value from the masses. Why would anybody hire you as an architect? The answer should be that you have a set of unique offerings that will solve the client’s needs.
Policy making is what Architects should be Paid for in the Future
Even in the possibility of a radical future where machines would be doing construction works and only Artificial Intelligence guiding them, still there would be architects discussing the future of our cities and making urban governance policies for us. Every architect is a policy maker first then a designer next. A substantial consideration for the impact of one’s building on an urban scale is the reason why there are a certain set of rules to be heeded.
The best way to start your professional career in architecture is to join an architecture firm as a trainee. Here are some tips for that - Brilliant Ways to Get Recruited As A Trainee Architect In A Reputed Firm
It is high time architects should start reconciling with high-tech Artificial Intelligence tools available out there. Whether Artificial Intelligence is a threat to the human race is debatable but one thing is for sure, the way developed economies and conglomerates are cashing in on Artificial intelligence is economically frightening. Automation is increasing income disparity with time. More delay in realizing this fact will cost us our economic and professional future. Planndesign will keep you posted with daily blogging updates on advancements in architectural technology.
Lastly, take a read to the 10 Smart Ways For an Architect to Make Passive Income
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